In the last 100 years since Suffrage, the Women’s Movement has done a great deal to enable gender equality in the workplace, put domestic violence on the map, advocate for reproductive freedom, maternity leave, and many other gains. Women, and men, owe much to the courage and determination of those who have fought for equality.
In my experience working with couples, however, I have not seen much improvement in the area of household chores and child care. Research also indicates that women shoulder much of the burden of these tasks in the home. This is irrespective of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or age.
The age part really has me stumped. As time went along in my work, I was sure that young couples would have absorbed the feminist mindset all around them, and would share household tasks more equally. Alas I have not found this to be the case, something that is, again, backed up by research. It seems that men can interact with women across the conference table, but when they get home, they want to live in their parent’s or even their grandparent’s marriages.
Couples who truly share household chores and child care in the end report a higher level of satisfaction in their relationship. If they are married, they get divorced less often. Men discover that fairness also benefits them.
Rarely does a week go by that I don’t remind a woman of this. I say, “True gender equality will only happen when, woman by woman, behind closed doors, she says This Is Not Fair!”